History of Soccer in the Area,
There is an excellent book that you can view online from Fossa Historical Society
Chapter 23 gives a history of clubs,associations and activities in the area.
If you are a former member of Fossa FC , please get in touch with us
Many thanks to Fossa Historical Society for the below information.
Fossa Soccer Club
In the Summer of 1969, a team from Liebherr Ireland was playing a team from Hotel Europe and Dunloe Castle in the field opposite the old Fossa church.
Dr. Hans Liebherr was passing by and went in to watch the game. After the game he enquired as to why they were playing in this bumpy field, and the reply was that this was the only playing field in the area.
Hans Liebherr replied “Come and play in my field” and so started a momentum that led to the setting up of Liebherr A.F.C., then Liebherr-Fossa, and ultimately Fossa Soccer Club. Liebherr A.F.C. was set up in 1970 and in that year joined the Kerry District League and was one of its founding members. In the early years almost all of the players were employees of the Liebherr crane factory, situated in the Fossa parish. As the club developed, its membership expanded and in 1977 it changed its name to Fossa Soccer Club. As the club had the best playing facilities and changing rooms in the league, the club enjoyed a very wide following and was the envy of every player in Kerry. One of the many members who gave outstanding service to the club in the early years was Alex Rintoul. He was a Glaswegian who possessed silken skills and was an inspiration to the club, as a player and for many years as manager. In the first eight years the club enjoyed mixed fortunes in the Kerry league maintaining a middle -of-the-table position in Division One and producing many notable performances.
In the season 1978-79 the club was relegated to Division Two. Ironically, that same year Fossa reached the Kerry Cup final but lost out to Listowel Celtic on a scoreline of 0-1.
Aidan McDonald and Michael Fitzgerald did trojan work for the club in this era.
In the following season, 1980-81, they were promoted back to Division One. At this time soccer had developed rapidly in Kerry and many new teams, especially from Tralee, joined the League. Fossa was finding it difficult to sign new players and was relegated after just one season.
Fossa would stay in Division Two for the next few years, their best finish being third in the league in 1985, just missing out on promotion to the top flight.
Bill Davidson had now been the team manager for three years and was to bring Fossa to their Kerry Cup final in 1986. This was a major achievement for the club and a huge effort was made to gain maximum exposure. Fossa opponents in the final were Tralee United, and the venue was the sportsfield in Castleisland on Sunday 11th May. This was a very close game and ended in a draw (1-1).
The replay was in the soccer fields at Cahermoneen Tralee, and brought heartbreak for Fossa as Tralee United scored a late winner in the last minutes to win 2-1.
The club also set up a ‘B’ team for the first time in 1986. Donal O’Reilly and Duncan Davidson did excellent work with this team which was promoted to Division Three in its first season. At this time the club was at its strongest position with a big squad of players and two very competitive teams. Jerry Doyle and James Houlihan were now in charge of the Fossa ‘A’ team.
Fossa would have to wait until the 1990-91 season to be promoted back to the now Premier League of Kerry Soccer but, despite many spirited performances the team was relegated after just one season.
Over the next few years both Fossa teams competed with great distinction in both second and third divisions and had three under age teams playing in the Kerry leagues.
Fossa Soccer Club organised a number of tournaments for the eight to twelve-year-olds of the parish. Over a hundred players often competed.
Donncha Galvin did great work in this era.
In 1996 the club was finding it difficult to cover the costs of running the club and despite many efforts to raise funds, the cost of running the many teams took its toll on the club.
That year the club went into hibernation with the hope of one day returning to the field and reliving the many great days and memories. But it was off the field that Fossa Soccer club gained most notoriety. It was the first soccer club to introduce beach parties to Killarney. The social element of the club was a total success and many friendships were made through the club. Fossa Soccer Club is indebted to a number of individuals. Along with those previously mentioned the following did great work, Mike Moynihan, Tony and Coleman Huggard, Tim Spillane, Con O’Sullivan, John Guerin and Mossy Fitzgerald. With the club no longer operating and with a debt outstanding, a number of the club officials came together in 1986 to organise a grand finale for the club. ‘Fossa’s Last Stand’ was arranged for all previous members and players on Friday 17th May 1986. The night was a great success and over fifty people came together to recount many memories. Fossa Soccer Club will be remembered by the very many players and members as a fantastic success. The many hours of training and playing and the general administration of the club provided experience that was fundamental in forming strong characters. As a final note, Fossa Soccer Club wishes to acknowledge the co-operation of the Fossa field committee and Fossa GAA Club with whom the playing pitch was shared with for almost twenty years. The Fossa pitch was the best soccer field in Kerry, and the fact that fixtures never clashed, even though the facility was being shared by other sporting clubs in the parish, is to commended.